1043 GMT June 25, 2022
Putin made the comments on Tuesday in a televised meeting with military academy graduates amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Al Jazeera reported.
“It is planned that by the end of the year, the first such complex will be on combat duty,” Putin told the graduates, referring to the Russian-developed ICBMs that are capable of carrying 10 or more nuclear warheads and decoys.
Russia successfully tested the missile in April, unnerving some observers at a time of heightened tensions that has again raised the prospect of nuclear confrontation with the West.
The deployment will come as part of a larger build-up of Russia’s military, Putin said, adding that troops have already begun to receive S-500 air defence and missile defence systems “that have no match in the world”.
“We will continue to develop and strengthen our armed forces, taking into account potential military threats and risks,” said Putin, who praised Russian forces fighting in Ukraine as acting “with courage, professionalism, like real heroes”.
Sarmat missile, which has been under development by Russia for years, has a massive payload and extreme range, making it likely able bypass most radar and missile defence systems.
The Russian president had previously praised the Sarmat missile as a “truly unique weapon” that will ensure his country’s security from external “threats”.
He has said it would make those who try to “threaten” Russia in the heat of aggressive rhetoric “think twice”.
In April, then Pentagon spokesman John Kirby downplayed the significance of the missile test, saying Moscow “properly notified” Washington beforehand, as is obligated to do under the 2011 New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), which placed limits on the two countries’ nuclear weapons.